Jameson whiskey was one of the strongest-performing spirits globally last year, according to new figures which show Guinness owner Diageo has the highest number of leading brands.
The Republic's most popular whiskey, with 6.5 million nine-litre cases sold last year last year, saw volumes rise 12.1 per cent worldwide in 2017 in a list compiled by the highly-respected industry research group International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR).
Jameson is now ranked in 43rd spot in IWSR’s top 100 spirit brands, up from 48th place last year and compared with 61st place in 2014.
The whiskey is one of two Irish brands included in the global rankings, with Diageo-owned Baileys coming in directly behind Jameson in 44th place, down two places despite growth of 3.7 per cent last year.
Eighteen of the brands in the "Real 100" ranking belong to Diageo, making the company the most-represented owner on the list. Pernod Ricard, which owns Jameson through Irish Distillers, follows with nine brands.
Overall, local brands from emerging markets dominate the ranking.
The world’s most popular alcoholic drink last year was the South Korean soju brand Jinro, owned by Hite-Jinro. Selling almost 76 million nine-litre cases, it retained its number-one position by a margin of more than 44 million cases.
The brand has grown for four years in succession, selling more than 600,000 cases more in 2017 than it did a year earlier.
The world’s second and third most-consumed spirits brands swapped places in the latest rankings. Ruang Khao, a local Thai rum, moved up to second spot, growing by almost 2 per cent to 31.7 million cases. In third place, was the world’s number one whiskey, India’s ABD’s Officer’s Choice.
Whiskey was the most-represented category in the Real 100 with 29 brands, 15 of which were Indian. There were also 19 vodka and six rum brands.
The first international brand to appear on the Real 100 list was Smirnoff vodka, which came in sixth place with 25.6 million cases sold last year.